Facing the music

Facing the musicHow did Freeth Cartwright manage to avoid making redundancies until now, while the rest of UK’s real estate teams have been making cuts for more than a year?

With around 35 per cent of Freeth Cartwright’s revenues coming from real estate, the firm has, finally, been forced to face the economic music.

Corresponding to the delay, the measures have been all the more serious, as this week the firm announced redundancy consultations with 60 staff – 13 per cent of its total (TheLawyer.com, 6 January) .

The layoffs will cut deeper than the real estate department, however with corporate, which makes up 10 per cent of turnover, also affected.

The majority of redundancies will affect secretarial and other support staff positions, although around 15 lawyers’ jobs, possibly including partners, are at risk.

The firm waited a long time to make the cuts, and chairman Colin Flanagan says he is determined to minimise the disruption they will cause.

“If economic conditions stabilise from this point onwards we would certainly hope that this is a one-off exercise,” Flanagan says.

With every day bringing a fresh company administration, that could be wishful thinking.